What put John Bel Edwards over the top in the election? JMC Analytics says it has a lot to do with African American turnout.

The report compares this election to the 2002 election when Mary Landrieu re-elected to the U.S. Senate.

Getty Images

Here's part of the report:

Increased black turnout: Between the 2002 primary and runoff (when former Senator Mary Landrieu saw her share of the vote increase from 46 to 52%), the black vote went from 26 to 27% of the electorate. And while we don’t have complete and official figures yet for the runoff, we know the following from available data:

  • Black early voting increased from 25 to 31% of the total early vote between the primary and runoff (in person early voting didn’t exist in 2002, so we can’t use that race as a basis for comparison);
  • Election Day turnout increased 1.5% in precincts where 70% or more of registered voters were white; it increased 13% in the black precincts. Because of the increased voter turnout from black voters, the racial composition of those who voted on Election Day increased from 28 to 30% black between the primary and runoff;
  • It also didn’t hurt that in the primary, JMC estimated that Governor Edwards received 91% of the black vote, while that vote share increased to 95% in the runoff.

The JMC analysis also says:

Higher turnout in general: While the volume of early voters increased 30% (from 386K in the primary to 503K in the runoff), it appears that Election Day turnout increased as well: from 974K in the primary to 1008K in the runoff. The impact of the increase in early and Election Day turnout was an increase in total turnout from 46% in the primary to 51% in the runoff (the total runoff electorate was about 1.5 million). And as mentioned previously in this analysis, the racial composition of Election Day voters was 30% black. Which when combined with the 31% black early vote means the total electorate was about 30.5% black – a three point increase from the primary;

Early voting sets TWO new records: Since its inception a decade ago, early voting has steadily become more popular in Louisiana. In the 2007 statewide elections, 11% early voted. That number has steadily increased to the point that 28% voted early in the primary – a record at that time. And since records are made to be broken, 33% of the runoff electorate voted early (a new record), while the 503K who early voted was the highest volume of early voting ever for a non-Presidential election, which broke the previous record of 386K in the primary;

This report also says Edwards was able to get enough of the vote that went to Congressman Ralph Abraham and he energized African American voters to get to the polls.